Pakistani Taliban leader Mehsud says he is fine in audio tape
Pakistani Taliban fighters issued an audio tape purportedly from their leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, denying he was killed in a U.S. missile strike.
World Bulletin / News Desk
Pakistani Taliban fighters issued an audio tape on Saturday purportedly from their leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, denying he was killed in a U.S. missile strike two days ago.
"I am neither wounded nor dead, I am fine," said a man on the tape which a Taliban spokesman played over the telephone to a Reuters reporter.
The reporter said the voice sounded like the Taliban commander, according to Reuters.
Earlier, the Taliban said Mehsud had escaped the strike but one fighter official said on Friday he had been wounded.
Attacks has intensified since mid-October when the army launched an offensive against the Pakistani Taliban in their South Waziristan bastion on the Afghan border.
At the same time, the United States has stepped up missile strikes by pilotless drone aircraft on militants in northwestern Pakistan.
Security officials said a drone targetted Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud on Thursday but there has been no confirmation of his fate.
Pakistan says the drones are a violation of its sovereignty. Pakistan also says its security policy will not be dictated by outsiders, brushing off the U.S. pressure to attack Afghan Taliban factions.
Government attacks on Taliban
Pakistani army launched late April a massive offensive in Swat Valley, breaking the deal between Taliban and government over a Sharia administration.
Taliban gained the right to form provincial administration, implementing Shar'ia laws in Swat districts under the deal. But Taliban fighters entered neighbouring districts, including one just 100 km (60 miles) northwest of Islamabad.
Taliban says the offensive was launched by government to please U.S. who has pressured to break it.
Taliban says Pakistani government had no respect for any pact and They kept violating every agreement and if this goes on.
Pakistan grabed over 5 billion USD in financial assistance after military offensive on Taliban.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ocak 2010, 18:41